We first saw the “Geisha Robot” in one of the first 5 teasers for the live action GHOST IN THE SHELL film (above). It’s appearance was highly exotic and provided an immediate veil of mystery, which perhaps hoped to somehow buffer / drown out the “whitewashing” backlash of the live-action adaptation, IMHO (A Caucasian Scarlett Johansson as “The Major”, in lieu of a Japanese “Kusanagi Motoko”) - which seemed more evident in recent days, promoting the Geisah Bot “more” than “The Major”, IMHO.
It is interesting as well aligned with the current media landscape of “androids”, the main protagonists in HBO’s wildly successful “Westworld”, and even “HUMANS” on Channel4/AMC. Just over the holiday weekend, I managed to catch on cable, Steven Spielberg’s “A.I. Artificial Intelligence” (2001) - whereby the face of android opens up to reveal an animatronic robot ice underneath - very much like “Westworld” (unlike “Humans” where you’ll never quite see that aspect of), and recent android/cyborg/robot-themed films, like “Ava”, the android in Ex Machina (2015), or “David”, in Prometheus (2012).
Today, we take a closer look at the robot geisha and it’s anime origins :)
BEHIND THE SCENES:
The robot’s face opens up to reveal the machinations underneath, but as well the flaps of the “opened face” looks like petals of a flower, but not menacingly like a “venus flytrap”!
Visually it remains as stunning as much as the “mystery” is ever maintain thru the decades, as so far we’ve only ever seen this notion in fictional media. I’m intrigued and charmed as heck, truth be told, and recognisably, it does distract me from the casting of the film (FYI: For the record, I no longer have an issue with the “whitewashing”, as I am sure one day - I hope - the Japanese will adapt their own story into live action haha).
As of right now, there is an enormous focus on the “Geisha Bots” - since the film launch, and even in the current promotion of the “Art of Ghost In The Shell” hardcover book (Buy on Amazon) - which you can view more images of #ghostintheshellfan and/or #popcornX.
Seen at the Tokyo Trailer Launch (MORE HERE) circa Nov.2016:
We first see the concept of “Robot Geishas” in earlier anime incarnations - including the “Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Season 1” television series (video above) where Motoko and her 'crew' rescue some dignitaries from hacked geisha robots … and in the “GHOST ON THE SHELL: INNOCENCE” animated film (see trailer below / full scene here);
PLOT EXCERPT: "After a series of deaths due to malfunctioning gynoids — doll-like sex robots — Section 9 is asked to investigate. As the gynoids all malfunctioned without clear cause, the deaths are believed to be premeditated murders; Batou and Togusa are sent to investigate possible terrorist or political motives. Additionally, the most recent gynoid's remains show they all contained an illegal "ghost". Section 9 concludes human sentience is being artificially duplicated onto the dolls illegally, making the robots more lifelike, and possibly acting as a motive in the murders." (2004 / Wiki)
We then see the Geisha Bots “in action” in the first “full trailer” of the live-action adaptation, in the restaurant scene, when they “abduct” guest(s) - mirroring the anime film (screen-snaps featured below). In the anime film, we see more of the Geisha bots later on as the story unfolds, as they are a key component of said story … will we see the same in the live-action adaptation?
We’ll know when the GHOST IN THE SHELL movie premieres March 31, 2017, in the U.S.A. :)